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Measure R Frequently Asked Questions

If measure R comes to pass, will it be possible for the public to actually invest in the bonds?

Posted by: Anyone who is interested in buying the District’s bonds should provide their name and contact information to Mr. Steve Corl, Cambrian's Chief Financial Officer, at Your contact information will be provided to the winning underwriter of the bonds as an interested investor, and the winning underwriter will contact the potential investor.   Anyone expressing interest should know that we expect a high demand for the bonds.  We will be aiming to achieve the lowest possible cost for the District and taxpayers, which means the lowest possible return for investors, so investors may do better buying another districts’ bonds where the effort isn’t as good.  The market allows us to sell the bonds in a minimum of $5,000 increments. If the resident is already a bond investor and familiar with municipal bonds and deems these bonds a good investment for themselves, then they can either buy through from the winning underwriter or their own broker, as described. 

How long the Measure R debt will be on Cambrian property tax bills?

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The estimated final year of taxation is 2051-52. This is an estimate based on initial modeling and moderate-conservative assumptions.

What is Measure R?

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Measure R is a school bond measure on the November 3, 2020 ballot seeking voter authorization for Cambrian School District funding to make needed facilities repairs, upgrades, and improvements to Cambrian School District school sites. Measure R requires 55% support to pass. A “YES vote” approves funding for the District’s plan; a “NO vote” rejects the plan. All Cambrian School District voters registered by October 19, 2020 will be eligible to vote on Measure R.

Why has the Cambrian School District placed Measure R on the ballot?

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Cambrian School District (CSD) as the local provider of K-8 th grade public education, we believe all students deserve to learn in quality classrooms and school facilities. We have two key priorities: first, to ensure academic success for every student attending one of our schools; and second, to make sure that our school facilities and school grounds are safe, secure, modern, and equipped to provide the best educational environment possible. Cambrian School District schools have educated generations of local children. But most of our schools were built about 60 years ago and need to be upgraded. The state of our classrooms, facilities and technology is impacting teaching and learning. Measure R provides a plan to address the most critical Cambrian School District facilities needs. No other funding currently exists to properly upgrade these facilities.

What is the actual question that voters will be asked to decide in November?

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“To repair/upgrade aging classrooms, science labs, school facilities, and instructional technology to support student achievement in math, science, engineering, technology, and arts, repair deteriorating roofs, plumbing, electrical, remove asbestos/lead pipes where needed, and upgrade classrooms/computers to keep pace with technology, shall the Cambrian School District measure authorizing $88,000,000 in bonds at legal rates be adopted, levying 3 cents/$100 assessed value ($5,235,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight/all money staying local?”

How will Measure R funds be used?

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Modernize classrooms, labs, and technology needed to support high-quality instruction in math, science, engineering, and the Arts.

Repair/Replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and electrical systems where needed.

Update classrooms and computer systems to keep pace with technology.

Remove hazardous materials like asbestos and lead pipes from our older schools.

Upgrade computers and technology needed for students to take classes, interact with teachers, and complete assignments online if they can’t be there in person.

Improve student safety, campus security, and access to school facilities for students with disabilities. By law, all Measure funds stay local, dedicated to CSD K-8 schools and students ONLY.

What about ongoing school maintenance? Doesn’t the District have a facilities budget?

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District facilities staff members work hard to maintain our neighborhood schools and keep them in good working condition with limited resources. However, the reality is that the types of repairs and renovations that our current needs assessment has already identified go beyond the scope and means of regular school maintenance budgets.

Will this effort improve instruction?

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Yes, an important part of an excellent education is having great school facilities. Studies show that students and teachers perform better in safe, modern classrooms and school facilities. Additionally, modern classrooms and technology will help ensure that our local K-8 students are prepared to function at the highest technological level so they can achieve success as they continue in high school, college, jobs and careers.

What about the Lottery funding? Wasn’t it supposed to fix our schools?

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Unfortunately, Lottery funds can only be used for classroom instruction, not technology or facility upgrades. Moreover, the money our school district receives from the Lottery each year comprises less than 2% of our annual General Fund Budget. Lottery funds alone cannot fund the extensive upgrades that our schools need.

How much will Measure R cost?

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The $88 million bond translates to $30 per year for every $100,000 of assessed valuation. The assessed valuation refers to taxable value, not the market value of your home. The taxable value of your home or business will depend on when you purchased it. If Measure R is approved, the typical homeowner in our school district will pay about $165 a year OR about $13.75 a month.

Doesn’t the STATE provide funding for facility upgrades?

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Very little. In the past, State funding has been available to support local school upgrades but especially now, we cannot count on this uncertain source of funding. Moreover, in order to access state funding, school districts MUST generate local matching funds by passing a local school bond measure. Passing a local bond is the ONLY way to qualify for additional state funding if and when it becomes available. There are no other sources of funding for major facility upgrades.

Will businesses share in the cost of Measure R?

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Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will be subject to the assessment.

Who makes the final decision on a local school bond?

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The locally elected Cambrian School District Board of Trustees is the legal entity that has called for the Measure R election. Ultimately, Cambrian School District REGISTERED VOTERS will have the final say when they vote for or against the measure.

How can we be assured that Measure R money will be spent properly?

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Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. All Measure R funds stay local — they cannot be taken away by the State or used for other purposes. ONLY facilities and equipment repairs and upgrades are allowed. NO funds can be spent on administrators' salaries. Measure R requires the establishment of an independent Citizens Oversight Committee within 60 days after a successful election result is certified. The Committee is responsible for monitoring bond finances to ensure the public that the money is spent properly. Measure R also requires independent annual audits on use of bond proceeds to ensure accountability to the public.

Who is eligible to vote on Measure R?

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All registered voters within Cambrian School District will be eligible to vote on Measure R on the November 3 rd 2020 ballot.

What is required for Measure R to pass?

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At least 55% of the voters who cast their ballots in the November 3rd Election must vote in favor of the bond for it to be approved. Measure R is being sought under the provisions of Proposition 39, which prohibits use of the funds for operations, administrator salaries, or pensions and also requires independent financial and performance audits on the use of bond proceeds.

What is the difference between a Proposition 39 school bond measure and a parcel tax?

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A parcel tax is a flat assessment on each parcel of land. Unlike school bond measures, which can only be used to fund school facility and technology improvements, parcel tax revenues are used to fund programs and services. A parcel tax measure requires two-thirds (66.7%) approval from registered voters who vote in the election where the parcel tax measure appears on the ballot. A Proposition 39 school bond requires 55%, plus one additional vote, to pass. No revenue generated by a local bond can be taken away by the State. All revenue stays local to benefit our local schools and students.

Have there been other CSD school bonds? If so, when was the last bond?

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Cambrian makes every effort to use all taxpayer dollars in a prudent, careful manner. It’s been 6 years since the last bond was passed supporting our schools. Voters have invested in maintaining the local high-quality education standards by passing two previous GO bonds (in 2014 and 2002). The proceeds from those bonds were spent on time and within budget.

What did the 2014 bond measure fund (Measure I)? How will Measure R funding be used?

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In 2014 our community generously supported a school improvement bond measure – that funding built Steindorf STEAM school, a new k-8 school that reduced overcrowding across ALL schools, added two miles of safety and security fencing across the district, and more. Measure R funds if approved by voters will modernize classrooms, labs and technology at Price, Bagby, Fammatre, Farnham, and Sartorette schools; repair or replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems, improve student safety and security, and provide better access for students with disabilities.

How do our local Cambrian bonds compare with neighboring school districts?

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Below is just a shortlist of other nearby school districts that have passed local funding measures. 3

● Campbell Union Elementary School District: 2016 - $72 million bond, 2015 - $49 parcel tax for 8yrs., 2010 - $150 million bond, 2002 - $74.9 million bond, and 1994 - $42 million bond

● Cupertino Union Elementary School District: 2012 - $220 million bond, 2011 - $125 parcel tax extension for 6yrs., 2009 - $125 parcel tax for 6yrs., 2001 - $80 million bond, and 1995 - $71 million bond

● Los Gatos Union Elementary School District: 2013 - $290 parcel tax extension for 8yrs., 2010 - $30.9 million bond, 2008 - $290 parcel tax for 6yrs., 2002 - $290 parcel tax, 2001 - $91 million bond, and three additional parcel taxes between 1998 and 1990

● Los Altos Elementary School District: 2014 - $150 million bond, 2011 - $193 parcel tax for 6yrs., 2006 - parcel tax, 2002 - parcel tax, 1998 - $94.7 million bond, 2002 - $74.9 million bond, and three additional parcel taxes between 1997 and 1989

If Cambrian area voters approve Measure R, when will the work begin?

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Once the measure is approved, the District will immediately focus on addressing the most critical needs. A schedule for funding projects will be developed so they can be completed on time and within budget.

Measure R Questions?
Contact: Carlena Grandey